Starwood Preferred Guest has announced a new list of hotels changing redemption categories next month.
Effective March 6, a total of 276 properties will change categories. Roughly half, or 51 percent of the hotels on the list, will increase categories, and about 49 percent will decrease categories.
If you have been eyeing some of these destinations, check out the list before redeeming your points. If the hotel you like is going up a category, I recommend booking before March 6. But don’t worry, you don’t have to complete your stay before that date. Simply make a reservation with points to lock in your award rate. Any changes or re-bookings afterward will require a number of points based on the hotel’s updated category.
Notable Category Changes
Three properties on the list—Le Méridien Towers Makkah, Four Points by Sheraton Hakodate and Four Points by Sheraton Niagara Falls—are increasing by not one but two categories, from Category 2 to 4. Two properties—Aloft Dhahran in Saudi Arabia and Four Points by Sheraton Srinagar in India are dropping two categories, from 4 to 2, whereas Four Points by Sheraton Kolasin in Montenegro is dropping by a whopping three categories, from 4 to 1.
Of interest, The St. Regis Osaka is increasing from Category 6 to 7. The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa is increasing from Category 5 to 6, and Walt Disney World Dolphin is going up from Category 4 to 5—all popular properties.
Seven properties in Spain are going up a category.
Additional SPG Changes
Marriott, which bought Starwood hotels a couple of years ago, is adding further and further changes to the SPG loyalty program. Effective Feb. 11, Starwood members will have a shorter booking window for both paid and award nights—it is changing from 550 days in advance to 350 days in advance, same as Marriott. All current reservations will not be affected.
What Starwood properties do you want to book for your upcoming travels? Are they affected by the new redemption rates?